The Boston Celtics were expected to be active on the trade front this season, but it appears team president Danny Ainge is wasting no time in exploring possibilities to clear out his teamís crowded depth chart. Hereís the latest from Yahooís Adrian Wojnarowski about Bostonís activity on the trade market.
No sense of imminent deals, but tremendous volume of trade discussions among teams for only the mid-December benchmark.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 16, 2014
Among most active teams on phones: (in no order): Celtics, Pistons, Suns, Timberwolves, Hornets, Clippers, Pacers, Nets, Nuggets, Rockets.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 16, 2014
The timing of the report makes plenty of sense, as December 15th marked the first day of the season that teams are able to trade free agents signed over the summer. Now that these players can be included in deals, general managers are able to explore many different trade combinations involving several additional parts of a teamís roster.
That means players such as Bostonís Evan Turner or Charlotteís Lance Stephenson are now eligible to be moved in a deal.
Making a trade now also helps a team maximize the return they can get on a player. Ainge was active early last season on the trade front, dealing shooting guard Courtney Lee to the Memphis Grizzlies in early January and point guard Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors later in the month. Both moves were made well ahead of the NBAís February trade deadline.
So who exactly should Celtics fans keep an eye on as trade discussions continue? Based on Bostonís current position in the standings (8-14) and their roster composition, itís far more likely for them to be sellers than buyers in this stage of the game.
Veteran players on expiring contracts, like Brandon Bass and Jeff Green, are certainly candidates to go. Bass and Green are especially likely targets since both players are putting up strong offensive numbers over the first quarter of the season. Rajon Rondo also remains a trade piece to watch, since if the team wants to deal their superstar guard, they will net a better return now than if they wait until February.
For now, Bostonís activity in trade discussions is normal for this time of year. However, it remains clear with this teamís roster composition that the front office has always been focused on building for the future, rather than pushing to make a postseason run this year. That reality makes any veteran on the roster a potential trade candidate.